Bedner's Farm & Greenhouse

Weekly News, 04.01.24

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When we decided to feature our David Austin Rose selection this week, I immediately thought of our long-time customer and friend, Tammy Makoul.

I had the pleasure of visiting Tammy’s home and garden in the summer of 2020 for a garden tour stop. In addition to gardening for cut flowers, fragrance is also a theme, which naturally makes her a rose lover. I asked Tammy to share her love of roses with us, along with her growing tips. Enjoy!

How did you first discover DAVID AUSTIN ROSES?

My amazing mother-in-law, Josephine (who was born and raised in England), had so many beautiful DA roses and they were always so amazing. She started by buying me an Austin and helped me learn along the way how to care for roses from all of her experience. I think she is a Rose Queen. I hope I can continue that legacy in my work of caring for roses. And not just any old rose, but rather, the Austins!

What do you love about them?

There is no other garden rose, in my opinion, that is more beautiful and scented than the Austins. It is a rose that is unique and bred with purpose and longstanding tradition. It is really meant to be enjoyed in gardens all over the world, freshly cut and cared for by people who love them and will take the time to care for them. I really love roses that have a deep, beautiful scent and unique flowering.

Do you have any growing tip or things you’ve learned over the years?

Yes, many, and I’ve learned so much from my mother-in-law, but also from others in the field of caring for roses, such as rosarians and many books. It can feel intimidating to care for roses, as they do need care. Over all the years, the breeding has really increased its focus on health, and that’s a good thing. I have learned some very important basics: when planting bare root roses, or even potted ones, use straight up mychrozzial fungi to begin a strong root system in the ground. Most of the roses need sun (a handful of them can take partial sun, something you can look up online when searching Austins) but overall they will perform better in full sun. Another tip is that since we are still in zone 6, I like to cover mine in burlap over the winter (if still young) and mulch with different mediums before the winter comes. Don’t forget: 1st year sleep, 2nd year creep, 3rd year leap. There are so many wonderful videos and tips on the David Austin Instagram website, and I would try one and learn by doing. It is easily addicting!

Which are your favorite varieties and why?

Lichfield Angel stands up to everything, is abundant and is a white/cream color and very hardy. I do really love the flowers from Munstead Wood, the deep color and the most strong and beautiful scent is just worth having even if it’s not the tallest or biggest. It is an older variety of Austin. I do have to say that my other favorite two that I really love are climbers: the Wedgewood Rose and Tess D’Ubervilles. They are strong, healthy and so hardy with extreme flowering and beautiful scent. There are so many to pick from based on features from color to scent, to sun preference and more. David Austin names the roses for many special characters or people and it’s really neat to see how that happens and who you bring home to your garden.

Anything else to add?

If you are planning to work with roses, please make sure you have a good pair of snips and pruning gloves. Believe me, unless your rose is thornless, you will want to invest in decades worth of pruning and protection!

Lastly, try to think about your garden and what type of rose will fit best in your landscape or in your vision for what you want your garden to look like. I didn’t do that at first and am learning that some of the bushes I have should have been placed in the back and some in the back should have been placed in the front. Do a little planning and vision and then go to town! You’ll never know until you try, and Bedner’s always has a beautiful selection of Austins where many other gardening centers do not. One last thing, it is always good to grow another plant underneath the rose such as salvia or even lavender or penstemon.